Crystal Pools Hıke

You visited Cape Town’s main attractions and hiked every possible trail of Table Mountain, now what?

South Africa’s diverse terrain and mild climate makes it very suitable for hiking, and the Western Cape Province is no exception. There are still so many nature reserves or mountains just an hour away from central Cape Town. One of them is Crystal Pools.

The name pretty much explains itself, but to briefly explain: Crystal Pools is part of a nature reserve near Gordon’s Bay. The reserve is full of very refreshing rock pools that can be accessed via moderate hiking trails. So, this is a perfect opportunity to have a summer picnic with lots of swimming.

Crystal Pools Hıke

The area also attracts many animal species, particularly baboons. Because of their aggressive behavior, the management of the park always tracks their movement so that they can notify the visitors of their existence just in case. Other than baboons, there are also wild cats, foxes and leopards which are nocturnal and hiding during the day.

When you look up Crystal Pools on the internet, you might realize that people are making plans for this hike so much in advance. Here is why: To preserve wildlife in the area, they are only allowing a limited number of people to enter the reserve at a time. This number is usually around 20-25. Think about it this way: you might need to book right now if you want to hike two months from today. Booking costs R69 per person.

The place is near Gordon’s Bay, an hour away from Cape Town. The actual nature reserve where Crystal Pools is situated is called the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. The entrance of the nature reserve is basically at the mouth of Steenbras River.

There are nine lakes in total. The first lake is 45 minutes away from the entrance with a fairly easy hike along a well-defined path. The hike becomes more strenuous from here to the second and the third lakes as you start to climb uphill for about twenty minutes. On the other hand, reaching some of the lakes might require a steep descend.

Crystal Pools Hıke

The water is extremely cold, but the feeling you get once you dive in after all the physical effort and sweating is priceless.

Speaking of the water, don’t let the word crystal fool you because the water is actually not crystal clear. This is not because it’s muddy and dirty, but rather a consequence of the fynbos (indigenous plants of Western Cape) that live underwater and release substances that change the color of the water. The situation applies to all the natural pools in South Africa, so don’t be intimidated.

Crystal Pools Hıke

Here are some tips about the area before concluding:

  • The park closes at 5 pm, so it may not be possible to explore all the nine lakes since leaving the park later than the closing time results in having to pay a fine.
  • Since there is no shade in the area, we would definitely not recommend hiking at noon without putting a sufficient amount of sunscreen.
  • After the challenging hike, you can reward yourself by visiting Strand Beach in Gordon’s Bay. Our recommendation would the Belgian Waffles in Strand Beach. The Nutella waffle is simply delicious because they are very generous with the toppings.

Crystal Pools is a perfect way to start a long-awaited summer or make the most of a sunny winter day, but it certainly isn’t the only available option. Western Cape has probably hundreds of different hiking routes each of which offer spectacular views of the unique Western Cape landscape. Stay tuned for more articles about the hikes in Western Cape.

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